Too Chicken(Pox) To Accept The Consequences

, , , , , , , | Learning | May 21, 2019

Though my kindergarten was part of an entire elementary school, the kindergarten was held in a separate building across the street from the main school with its own parking lot. This was originally done to ensure the children could see and point out whoever was picking them up without the clutter of other grades — also why the first graders had their own hall with its own exit in the main building. It also forced the school to teach us road safety at a young age since we’d have to go to the main school building to have library, PE, music, art, computers, and lunch. However, it wound up proving to have one more bonus after this incident.

Our last activity before recess was acting out Three Billy Goats Gruff, complete with masks for all four characters. After I, the third goat for this group, rammed the final troll, someone noticed my goat mask didn’t look the same and asked the teacher about it. She started by examining the mask, and then the kid playing the troll and me. Our troll was wearing makeup. Everywhere. While asking him why, the teacher started rubbing it away before stepping back, horrified.

The troll had chickenpox.

While I don’t remember this for sure, I believe that at the time vaccination was only required for entry into middle school, so not only was it quite likely that none of the students in the kindergarten were vaccinated against chickenpox, but it was just as likely many of the students in the main school weren’t, either. And this child’s mother decided it would be better to send him to school. How do I know it was his mother? Well…

The very first thing my teacher did was get the neighboring teacher to watch us, and then drag our troll right out of the classroom. When I took a restroom break later, I passed by the kindergarten’s office and heard a woman yelling about how this was no big deal, that she shouldn’t have had to come down for this, and more. The troll student didn’t come back that day, or any other day.

Once she got back, we were locked in the building the rest of the day. The teachers had to go get our lunches, and we lost our main building class for the day. Throughout the day, others were getting picked up unexpectedly. Evidently, the school called all of our parents to let them know a mother sent her child in with chickenpox, and many decided to get their kids out immediately.

The school was closed for the next two weeks, which means we lost two weeks of our summer vacation and our parents had to find sitters. Once the incubation period ended and symptoms would be appearing in anyone infected, the school reopened, but attendance was incredibly low; on the very first day back, I was the only one who came to class. Part of it was that some parents didn’t feel safe leaving their kids with the school any longer and transferred them out, but most of it was because the school had an outbreak which left most of the children sick, and the parents of the remaining healthy children were concerned another parent would do the same thing. After some assurances, the healthy students finally came back. I had bragging rights, however.

Since I was the only one who came in on the first day, the teachers called my parents again. With their permission, my teacher took me bowling for the day — out of her own pocket if my mother is to be believed — and even drove me home while everyone else stayed to close the kindergarten early. It was my first and only improvised field trip, and I absolutely loved it.

In the course of my education, I encountered almost my entire kindergarten class again. While a couple of them have scars, everyone I’ve found was just fine. The only mystery left in this case is the student who caused it. I’ve yet to encounter him again.

To the troll’s mother, while I hate that you delayed my summer vacation and cost me time with my friends, thank you for enabling a wonderful day of bowling with my teacher. I hope your stupidity hasn’t killed your son or anyone else.

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